NEW YORK (AP) — Apple's $1 billion court victory over Samsung poses a lot of questions for consumers. Will Samsung phones still be available for sale? Will they be more expensive? Will owners of existing phones need to worry?
A federal jury in San Jose, Calif., ruled late Friday that Samsung, the world's largest maker of phones, had copied features of the iPhone and the iPad. That included the "bounce-back" behavior when a user scrolls to the end of a page and the ability to zoom in on an image by spreading two fingers.
The jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. That was less than the $2.5 billion sought, but still a victory for Apple. Meanwhile, the jury rejected Samsung's patent-infringement claims against Apple. An appeal is expected.
For now, here's what the verdict means for consumers:
Q. Can I still buy a Samsung phone or tablet computer today?
A. Yes. The jury didn't prohibit sales of the devices. However, Apple will ask a judge to ban U.S. sales of several Samsung devices. A Sept. 20 hearing has been scheduled. If the judge agrees, that would affect many Samsung devices, but not the most recent ones, such as the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note smartphones. Most of the two dozen devices covered by the lawsuit aren't sold in meaningful numbers in the U.S.
Q. Was Friday's verdict final?
A. No. Samsung is challenging it. First, Samsung will first ask the trial judge to toss the verdict. Then it will appeal to a court in Washington that specializes in patent appeals. Samsung has vowed to take the fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.
Q. If Apple still prevails, will this drive Samsung out of the phone business?
A. That's not likely. The verdict doesn't apply outside the U.S. and doesn't apply to the latest Samsung devices either. The $1 billion in damages represents 1.5 percent of Samsung Electronics Co.'s annual revenue.
Q. Will this make Samsung phones more expensive?
A. Possibly. Samsung may have to pay Apple substantial royalties on each phone. Consumers will likely pay for that somehow, but it may not be noticeable in stores. Phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless already subsidize each smartphone by hundreds of dollars to get retail prices down to $99 or $199.
Q. What does this mean for the Samsung phone I already own?
A. This doesn't directly affect phones that have already been sold, even if they are the models that the judge decides to ban. In the long run, it could reduce enthusiasm around Android, the operating system from Google that Samsung uses in the devices in question. That might mean fewer applications for Android from outside parties. That will take years to play out, but could conceivably affect the resale value of your phone.
Q. Does this mean Samsung phones will look different in the future?
A. Possibly. The jury dinged Samsung's flagship Galaxy line for copying the overall look and feel of the iPhone and for using the stock icons with rounded corners that come with Android. Also at issue was the way Android can tell the difference between the touch of a single finger and several fingers. Samsung might delay some models to give it time to rework their look and feel.
Q. What does this mean for other Android phones, such as those from LG Electronics Inc., HTC Corp. and Google's Motorola Mobility?
A. Although the ruling applies only to Samsung, it will have an indirect effect on all makers of Android devices. Apple could go after them with arguments similar to the ones used against Samsung. But Friday's ruling is not precedential, meaning that other courts could reach completely different decisions.
Most likely, makers of Android phones will take more care to make their phones distinguishable from the iPhone.
It's also a standard tactic in patent cases to countersue. In this case, Samsung's patent claims against Apple were thrown out by the court. But Google has been buying up patents and could help other phone makers mount more effective countersuits.
Q. What does this mean for Android devices around the world?
A. The ruling applies only to the U.S., though Apple and Samsung are waging similar battles in other countries. On the same day Samsung lost in the U.S., it partially won a fight in South Korea. A Seoul court imposed a partial ban on South Korean sales of products from both companies. That verdict didn't affect the latest models either.
Q. What does this mean for Apple?
A. Analysts say it could help Apple gain market share at the expense of Android phones, if these have to avoid some attractive and easy-to-use features introduced by Apple.
Despite being a driving force in phone development since the iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple has only 19 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, according to IDC. The high price of the iPhone keeps it out of the reach of many consumers. Meanwhile, Android phones have 64 percent of the market.
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Earlier on HuffPost:
How Apple Got Its Name
"Executek," "Matrix," "Personal Computers Inc." were among the names Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak considered for their company, writes Isaacson. Jobs proposed "Apple" after returning from a visit to All One Farm where he had helped tend for the apple trees. "I was on one of my fruitarian diets," Jobs told Isaacson. "I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited, and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word 'computer.'"
Clinton Asked Jobs' Advice On Lewinsky Scandal
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Jobs-Walter-Isaacson/dp/1451648537" target="_hplink">According to Isaacson</a>, during a "late-night phone conversation," President Bill Clinton <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/21/bill-clinton-steve-jobs-lewinsky_n_1025876.html" target="_hplink">asked Jobs</a> how he should deal with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. "I don't know if you did it, but if so, you've got to tell the country," Jobs told Clinton. The president was silent on the other end of the line, Isaacson writes.
Why Jobs Wore Black Turtlenecks
<a href="http://gawker.com/5848754" target="_hplink">According to Isaacson, </a>Jobs' signature black turtleneck was initially inspired by a visit in the early '80s to a Sony factory in Japan, where the Apple co-founder noticed that all of the employees wore uniforms. Jobs liked the concept: he suggested Apple employees might likewise embrace a dress code of sorts and worked with Japanese designer Issey Miyake to design vests for his employees -- who nixed the idea. But Jobs "came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, because of both its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style," writes Isaacson. Jobs, who had befriended Miyake, asked the designer to make him "some of the black turtlenecks that I liked." The designer complied, and Jobs' trademark look was born. Prior to this, Jobs had favored white shirts and jeans, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/steve-jobs-tech-pioneer_n_999321.html" target="_hplink">former Apple employee Jay Elliot told the Huffington Post.</a>
Jobs Was Disappointed By Obama
Jobs was a supporter of Obama's -- he offered to help the president with his ads for the 2012 campaign -- but <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Jobs-Walter-Isaacson/dp/1451648537" target="_hplink">Jobs told Isaacson</a> he was "disappointed in Obama" who was "having trouble leading because he's reluctant to offend people or piss them off." "You're headed for a one-term presidency," Jobs told Obama during a forty-five minute meeting between the two men. Jobs argued that the president's administration needed to be more friendly toward business and more aggressive in reforming the nation's education system.
Jobs Refused Potentially Life-Saving Surgery To Treat His Cancer
As Isaacson noted in both his biography and <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7385390n&tag=mncol;lst;1" target="_hplink">during an interview with 60 Minutes</a>, Jobs initially refused to undergo what could have been a life-saving surgery to treat his pancreatic cancer. For months, Jobs instead opted to treat the cancer with other, non-invasive therapies, including unusual diets, herbal remedies, and acupuncture. "The big thing was that he really was not ready to open his body," Jobs' wife Laurene Powell explained. Powell did attempt to talk her husband into the surgery. "The body exists to serve the spirit," she told Jobs.
Jobs Initially Opposed Apps
The thousands of applications available on iTunes have become a defining feature for Apple and have earned developers billions of dollars. Jobs, however, initially opposed the idea of offering third-party apps. Art Levinson, a member of Apple's board, recalled phoning Jobs "half a dozen times to lobby for the potential of the apps." Isaacson writes that Jobs "at first quashed the discussion, partly because he felt his team did not have the bandwidth to figure out all the complexities that would be involved in policing third-party app developers."
Jobs Was 'Depressed' By Lukewarm Reaction To iPad
Though iPad has been an unqualified success for Apple, the initial reaction to the tablet was lukewarm at best. People mocked its name, dismissed it as little more than an overgrown iPod touch, and speculated that it could be Apple's second Newton--a big, giant flop. "I kind of got depressed today. It knocks you back a bit," Jobs told Isaacson the night after he unveiled the iPad.
Jobs' Bizarre Interview Question: 'Are You A Virgin?'
Isaacson writes that Jobs enjoyed asking job candidates "offbeat" questions to test their ability to think on their feet and gauge whether they had the right personality mix to succeed at Apple. The author recounts how on one occasion, Jobs began peppering a potential hire, who was "too uptight and conventional," with unusual questions -- and even interrupted his answers with "Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble." "How old were you when you lost your virginity?" Jobs asked. He continued, "Are you a virgin?" adding, "How many times have you taken LSD?"
Jobs: Google 'Wholesale Ripped Us Off'
Isaacson's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/20/steve-jobs-google-grand-theft_n_1023111.html" target="_hplink">biography lays bare some of the animosity Jobs</a> reportedly felt toward Google following its launch of Android. Jobs described Android as a "grand theft" that stole from the iPhone. "Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google you f***ing ripped off the iPhone, wholesale ripped us off,'" Jobs told Isaacson in a conversation about a patent lawsuit Apple had filed. "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product." "I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this," Jobs added.
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